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Humane Society Legislative Fund has some recommendations for Barack Obama

January 17, 2009 | 11:16 am

Obama dogs As Barack Obama prepares to take office, the Humane Society Legislative Fund is preparing for the new administration as well. 

The group, which issues an annual Humane Scorecard detailing the votes of each member of Congress on animal-related issues, recently developed a Change Agenda for Animals.  HSLF president Michael Markarian notes on his blog:

When it comes to animal protection, more than a dozen federal agencies have a direct impact on the lives of millions of pets, farm animals, laboratory animals, and wildlife. In years past, some of these agencies have functioned largely as an annex to industry, and have been inattentive to the wishes of Americans who care about animal welfare, food safety, and environmental protection.

Rather than politics as usual, it's time for change...

Among the issues on the HSLF's 100-item agenda?   Ramped-up humane slaughter legislation and enforcement of existing legislation, strengthening of environmental safety laws, a crackdown on puppy mills, protection of marine mammals, and the classification of chimpanzees as endangered species.

The group also requests that the Obama administration create a new position: an Animal Protection Liaison to the White House whose role, it explains, would be "to help coordinate animal protection concerns (policy issues, legislation, and regulations affecting animals cut across several different agencies -- Agriculture, Interior, Commerce, EPA, HHS, State, Transportation, HUD, DOD, FTC, Education, etc.)."  Additionally, it asks for a new Animal Protection division in the Justice Department.

As we reported in November, the HSLF gave Obama a score of 67 (out of a possible 100) in its most recent Humane Scorecard report.  But your soon-to-be-Vice-President Joe Biden scored a perfect 100!

--Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Francois Mori/Associated Press

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